Request For Proposal: 2018 International Trade & Consumer Marketing Campaign

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Explorers’ Edge (RTO12) is the regional tourism organization for Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound funded by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport. With some of Canada’s most iconic natural landscapes within its borders, including those that inspired the Group of Seven painters, and recognized as one of the most popular travel destinations in the province, RTO12 promotes travel to the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto in all four spectacular seasons.

Project Timetable

  • Request for Proposal Issued: Wednesday November 29, 2017
  • RFP Due: Friday December 7, 2017 @ 4.00pm

Executive Summary:

Following our successful 2017 international marketing campaign entitled “Share Your Canada,” in February 2018, RTO12 will launch a substantial new social content campaign that will once again target international travelers in the United States and the United Kingdom and promote visitation to northern Ontario for the late spring (June) and summer (July, August) vacation seasons.

To strengthen our marketing output to these markets, starting in January 2018 and through February 2018, we will first refine the ‘10 Explorers’ Edge Itineraries’ that were outcomes of the “Itinerary & Package Development for International Markets” created in 2017 by Twenty31 Consultants (based on Destination Canada’s EQ Segments), and we will, working with regional tourism businesses, develop final package recommendations (showcasing tourism businesses/partnerships) that align with these refined itineraries.

In additional to promoting these final itineraries and packages directly to consumers, we will also ensure they meet the criteria of international tour promoters who sell trips to Canada, and whom we will also commence targeting to have them insert our product into their programs in order to attract even more international visitors to northern Ontario.

The 2018 International Trade & Consumer Marketing Campaign is also integral to ensuring that, should commercial air service be successfully introduced at the Muskoka Airport in 2018, RTO12 will have an ongoing, extremely robust international marketing program to leverage in order to promote that service to international travelers.

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the RTO12 Senior Director of Communications & Strategy and working as part of a greater marketing team the consultant role will act as a quarterback for the optimal development and execution of the international trade and consumer marketing campaign.

The measurable economic benefits of the project include:

  • Increase in long-haul visitors to the Explorers’ Edge region
  • Increase in extended stays in the Explorers’ Edge region
  • Increase in room night occupancy in the Explorers’ Edge region

Other measurable benefits that relate to the project include:

  • International Tour Operator Engagement
  • Number of international tour operators that embrace regional packages and include them in communication / sales
  • International consumer list creation for further and ongoing lead nurturing activities
  • Building of interest in the region, in Ontario, and in Canada as a preferred and branded destination in 2018
  • The refinement of specific region-wide itineraries and packages

Objective

The purpose of this RFP is to have the successful proponent show how they would develop and implement the following components:

  • The refinement of the 10 Explorers’ Edge itineraries (January 2018)
  • The creation of packages featuring multiple tourism business offerings that align with the recommended itineraries (includes outreach to and training of tourism business stakeholders).
    (January 2018 – February 2018)
  • Research into tour promoters in the United States and the United Kingdom who will promote our product offering (i.e. itineraries and packages).
    (January 2018 – February 2018)
  • Research into recommended ‘last mile’ infrastructure and services development to ensure consumer purchase and redemption of recommended itinerary and package options meet expectations (e.g. signage at airport, car rental availability, ease of purchase, etc.)
    (January 2018 – March 2018)

 

  • Communications Plan development and outreach to international tour operators to pitch the itineraries and packages.
    (February 2018)
  • Marketing of tourism businesses via the social, mobile, content campaign by featuring the itineraries and packages.
    (February/March 2018)

The expected deliverable from this RFP will be a proposal for how to bring the multiple components of the plan together for execution.

The proposal, at a minimum, will break out the costs across the following:

  • Research
  • Industry Outreach
  • Consulting Remuneration
  • In Market Campaign Spend
  • Final Report Development
  • Travel

Your proposal will form an integral part of the contract and will be considered the Scope of Work for the Initial Term.

Corporate Information:

Please provide a synopsis of your qualifications, including a detailed summary of previous successful planning and training for comparable clients. Also include:

  • A description of the respondent’s company, including location(s), business operations, financial security, and corporate history
  • A standard contract proposal

Note:  Proponents shall identify, within their submission, all excluded items.

Assumptions:  The entire project will be fully completed no later than May 30, 2018